Well, now we know why Game of Thrones‘ Melisandre likes to drop her robe so much.
Think about it: If you were a zillion-year-old woman using mystical jewelry to fool people into thinking you were a powerful, if a bit nutty, young hottie, wouldn’t you want to show off the goods as often as possible?
Yep, as the Red Woman prepares for bed at the end of the HBO drama’s sixth season premiere, she removes all her clothing and her ever-present necklace… and we soon see that she’s actually an ancient crone.
We also get a definitive answer to whether or not Jon Snow is among the living — as we were warned, he is not — as well as to the question I’m sure you’ve been asking yourselves since the Season 5 finale: “What have the Sand Snakes been up to?” Just kidding; Bronn is the only person alive who’s been wondering about those naughty ladies.
Read on for more of what goes down in “The Red Woman.”
THE MEN OF THE WALL | Ghost lets out a long, mournful howl, and many of us are right there with him, because Jon Snow is very dead. Davos finds the body of the Lord Commander, who has succumbed to his multiple stab wounds and is lying in a pile of bloody slush, and has a few of Jon’s friends help carry him to his quarters. Meanwhile, Melisandre wonders how she could’ve possibly been so wrong about what her visions foretold. “I saw him in the flames, fighting at Winterfell,” she says, brushing his cold cheek with her hand. “I cannot speak for the flames,” Davos replies, “but he’s gone.”
It’s immediately clear to the men that only one Night’s Watch “brother” — and I used that term very loosely — could have masterminded Snow job: Alliser Thorne. The man in question argues to the rest of the brotherhood that Jon was going to disband the Night’s Watch. “He thrust a terrible choice upon us, and we made it,” he says, defending his actions.
Not much later, Thorne knocks at the door, demanding that Jon’s friends surrender by nightfall and promising amnesty if they do (and that Davos will be able to leave Castle Black as a free man.)
Given that Thorne has the face of a used car salesman behind on child support payments, none of the men believe him — and the idea of killing the traitor quickly becomes very popular. But they’re heavily outnumbered, and when Dolorous Edd is your best bet, you’re pretty screwed, indeed. Hold up, Davos says, what about asking Melisandre for help? The men scoff, but Davos has seen some stuff, and he maintains that Stannis’ mistress is the way to go.
Cut to the aforementioned bedtime scene, in which the Red Woman stands before a looking glass, slips out of her robes, and then removes the choker she always wears. The result: Think a female Gollum with osteoporosis, all wispy white hair and sagging… everything. Also, she looks really sad as she climbs into bed.
HOUSE BOLTON | We open on Ramsay standing over Myranda’s corpse, eulogizing her with a long, stirring speech (sample quote, “she smelled of dog”) about how he’ll avenge her death. “Your pain will be paid for a thousand times over,” he swears… and then tells the maester to dispose of her body by feeding her to the dogs. (Heh.)
Roose informs his son that he’s simultaneously proud of him for besting Stannis in battle and disappointed in him for losing Sansa, their biggest advantage in negotiations to come. The North “won’t back us without Sansa Stark. We no longer have Sansa Stark,” Roose reminds him. But the shamed younger Bolton assures his father that he’s got his dogs and a team after the missing pair. Still Roose, subtly threatens his bastard son by bringing up the point that without Sansa, Ramsay won’t produce an heir. And the maesters say that Lady Walda’s probably going to drop a male baby sometime very soon…
In the frigid lands around Winterfell, Theon tries to divert the hellhounds from finding Sansa, but it doesn’t work. However, the duo is saved at the very last minute by… Brienne and Pod! Hi guys! I missed you most. Theon jumps into the fray at the end, helping to kill the last of Ramsay’s men, and then the knight once again pledges her services to Catelyn’s older daughter. This time, the redhead gratefully accepts them. (Side note: I loved Pod prompting Sansa in the correct wording of the vow accepting Brienne’s promise of protection.)
HOUSE LANNISTER | A grieving Jaime brings Myrcella back to King’s Landing. But since Cersei’s walk of atonement (or, rather, “Shame!”), Jaime’s twin isn’t the feisty woman he left behind, so she doesn’t have the reaction he expects when he gives her the bad news about their daughter. Hearing about the poisoning only convinces her that the prophecy she heard as a child is coming true; as such, she accepts that “three golden shrouds” fate with a defeated resignation that, unlike her slightly grown-out short hair, isn’t a good look on her. But Handsome McGoldhand has news for her: “F—k prophecy. F—k fate. F—k everyone who isn’t us,” he says, bucking her up and promising to take back everything that has been taken from them.
And unbeknownst to either of them, far away in Dorne, Ellaria Sand seems to have made her peace with Prince Doran. Then she kills him with a knife. The last name on the sickly monarch’s lips? That of his son, Trystane… who finds himself with a Sand Snake spear through the forehead on the boat in King’s Landing harbor. “Your son is weak, just like you, and weak men will never rule Dorne again,” Ellaria tells a dying Doran.
HOUSE TYRELL | A very dirty Margaery, still in the High Sparrow’s jail, demands to see her brother. “Sinners don’t make demands. They make confessions,” the septa informs her. They’re interrupted by the holy man himself, who also encourages her to ‘fess up her sins. She refuses. “You have started down a path, but you have many miles to go,” he says mysteriously, leaving her in her filthy cell.
HOUSE TARGARYEN | While Tyrion and Varys try to figure out how to return an absent Daenerys to the people’s favor in Mereen, and while an increasingly greyscaled Jorah and Daario search for the missing Mother of Dragons (but find only her ring), Dany herself has been swept up by a massive khalasar. She’s brought to the leader, Khal Moro, who intends to make her his mare (if you know what I mean). But when she tells him absolutely not in Dothraki, he soon realizes that she’s the widow of Kahl Drogo and therefore should be treated like a divine creature.
She assumes that means she gets to leave. Dany, would a people who made you eat a horse heart as if it were an apple make things that easy for you this time around? Nope, she’s being sent to a holy temple where all khaleesi live out their days after their husbands’ deaths. Drogon, take the wheel!
HOUSE STARK: FLYING BLIND EDITION | When we catch up with Arya, she’s still blind and getting by as a beggar in the streets of Braavos. (Side note: Her eyes really creeped me out. Anyone else?) The Waif stops by to mess with her aka train her by beating her with a stick. Sadly, it’s one of the most caring things that happens all episode.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the premiere? Grade it via the poll below, then elaborate in the comments!